Keyari Sleezer, a sophomore on the Pepperdine women's
basketball team, is driven on and off the court, and her love for her family
and teammates shines through her. She shares her thoughts on her season so far
and her goals for the future:
Q: How are you feeling about this season so far? Have you been able to meet your goals so far this season?
A: I think we started out rougher than any of us expected during preseason, but I think that we were able to learn from it and it has made us a lot better. We are on the right path to where we want to be. From not playing much last season, and now being able to play and help the team, has been going toward my goal. My goal is to start and give as much as I possibly can to the team, so I could always do more.
Q: Has this year been different than last year?
A: In the preseason we focused on culture, so we are a lot closer now as a family, especially off the court. We have been working toward how we transfer that culture onto the court.
Q: What are some changes you want to see as the season progresses?
A: I want to see us win a lot of games. I think one of the big things for us is making sure that we are all healthy and everyone focused on the same thing. That is our ultimate goal.
Q: What was the transition from high school to college like for you?
A: My freshman year of high school was pretty bad, so I was really nervous about the transition from high school to college. I expected the worst, so it ended up going way better than I thought it would. I also had to learn a lot more about basketball, rather than just being able to play.
Q: How has having a family of athletes influenced you?
A: Back home we are known as a basketball family because my dad played, which was really awesome. I was also able to practice a lot with my brother as we were growing up, which helped me get better. My dad actually works in construction, so he built us a half-court basketball court for us to practice on. He also always worked out with me and was always at my games.
Q: Is your goal still to go to medical school?
A: I am technically a business administration major, but I am also pre-med and minoring in Spanish. I want to be a doctor and open my own practice one day.
Q: What is your role on the team?
A: I am playing post this year, so my role has changed a lot. Now my role is to get rebounds, to not let the other team score in the paint, and to get easy buckets for my team. Going from a guard to a post, I am usually faster than the people who are guarding me, so I have to take advantage of those opportunities.
Q: What has been your favorite memory with the team? What are you looking forward to doing with the team?
A: Traveling is always fun. We have some fun stories on the bus. Our team is always singing. We listen to a lot of music and do a lot of karaoke. We have some people on our team who aren't the best singers, but they are the ones who always want to sing. It's really funny and it is a lot of fun! I think we are really young and we are looking to get even better. It is cool because we get to work with the coaches and grow together. I think we have even bigger goals for the seasons to come.
Q: If you could switch places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
A: I think it would have to be my dad. He works really hard, so it would be a really hard day. I think it would be really cool because he is one of the people I really look up to. I know what he has gone through, but to actually live a day in his shoes would be eye-opening. I think it would make me appreciate him even more.